There’s nothing better than quality time with your loved ones, especially when grandchildren are involved. A skip-generation vacation is a great way to spend time together and really get to know one another. One place that doesn’t disappoint is Australia, and specifically The Great Ocean Road. This article will share some of the best things to do on The Great Ocean Road for grandparents and grandchildren alike.
Traveling one-on-one with your grandchildren allows you to witness the growth of the next generation. It’s also an opportunity to make lasting memories together.
The best part might be a chance to relive the magic of travel through a child’s eyes again. It’s a truly special experience that shouldn’t be missed.
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Living just a short 20-minute drive away from the Great Ocean Road we have the pleasure of exploring it multiple times throughout the year. Sometimes just for a day trip, a relaxing weekend escape or when we can, for a longer exploration.
The road is blessed with beautiful natural attractions and plenty of fun activities for kids. This makes it an ideal destination for a split-generation vacation. All generations are guaranteed to love a trip along the Great Ocean Road.
We have explored this region a few times with our grandkids and these are some of our best recommendations for an unforgettable vacation with the little tackers in tow.
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Where To Stay On The Great Ocean Road
I don’t recommend driving the entire Great Ocean Road in a single day with kids. It’s a lengthy adventure that’s best enjoyed over a couple of days. Go at your own pace, follow their interests and take breaks when you want.
There are some great family-friendly accommodation options in the region with an array of Great Ocean Road holiday parks to choose from. We like holiday parks as they have playgrounds, kids’ playrooms, and sometimes pools to help keep the grandkids entertained.
Apollo Bay is a good spot to spend the night. It has plenty of restaurants, a great beach with a huge foreshore, and a nice family vibe. Plus, it’s located roughly at the half way point of the road.
Best Things To Do On The Great Ocean Road – A Skip-Generation Vacation
Our first stop when heading down the Great Ocean Road with kids is Torquay. There are plenty of attractions in Torquay to keep the kids amused and it makes a great coffee stop. Torquay has a fantastic beach for kids that’s patrolled in summer, heaps of surf shops and factory outlets, and you can even have a surf lesson.
2. Australian National Surfing Museum
A highlight of any visit to Torquay, the Australian National Surfing Museum, is recognized by the International Surfing Association as one of the world’s most significant surfing heritage centers.
Here, you can uncover the art of surfboard making, from classic Malibu boards to high-performance shortboards. Explore the evolution of board designs in the Board Room and browse through vintage photographs and collectibles.
The museum offers something for visitors of all ages, especially if you’re into surfing. And while our grandsons weren’t that interested in the old photos like we were, they loved the graffiti covered surfboards that had shark bite chunks taken out of them.
3. Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie And Ice Creamery
Situated on fifteen acres of landscaped grounds, the Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie and Ice Creamery is heaven for chocolate lovers, sweet tooths, and of course, kids.
The enormous show room is filled with thousands of tempting chocolates and there’s a huge window where the kids can watch the chocolates being made.
Once you’ve made your selection – there’s free tastings to help you decide – you can grab a bite to eat at the onsite café.
There’s a strip of lawn here where the kids can run around and play while you watch from your table.
For a special treat, try the Family High Tea complete with sweet and savoury treats, endless hot chocolates and milkshakes, and a chocolate fountain with dipping treats.
4. Jumpz Anglesea
Located at the back of the Great Ocean Road Resort in Anglesea, Jumpz is a fantastic outdoor trampoline park.
It has a number of trampolines arranged into a large rectangle as well as tilted trampolines along the sides to maximize the bouncing fun!
This place is ideal for split-generation vacationers as there’s an adjacent deck where the adults can relax with a drink and still watch the kids.
There’s also barbecue facilities, and if you can pry the kids away from the trampolines, there are bocce courts and other games to keep everyone entertained.
5. Split Point Lighthouse
Unmissable along the Great Ocean Road, Split Point Lighthouse in Aireys Inlet, is just a short drive from Anglesea.
This historic landmark is known as the White Queen and is famous for being featured in the children’s television show Round The Twist.
The lighthouse offers 45-minute tours that take you through the maritime history of the region and gives fascinating insights into the lives of past lighthouse keepers.
After the tour you can climb to the top balcony for unrivaled views along the coastline. If you’re lucky you may even see dolphins and whales that favor this part of the ocean.
Today Split Point Lighthouse continues to serve as a vital signal for vessels guiding them through the treacherous waters of Bass Strait.
Lorne, one of the most popular towns on the Great Ocean Road, offers a variety of activities such as surfing, pier-fishing, swimming and hiking. The main street is filled with cafes and shops with views across the foreshore to the ocean.
One of the best Lorne attractions is undoubtedly the beach, where you and the kids can enjoy swimming in pristine waters of Louttit Bay.
For those who prefer freshwater, the Lorne Sea Baths is a good alternative to the beach. This beachfront facility offers a pool, gym, and spa, including salt therapy rooms, and hydrotherapy. The little ones will have a blast with the trampolines, mini-golf, and bumper boats.
7. Live Wire Park
One of the best things to do on the Great Ocean Road for kids is to visit Live Wire Park. Here the kids can glide, zi, and climb their way through the Otway treetops on each of the park’s circuits.
The Short Circuit is best for younger kids as it’s the shortest and easiest – which isn’t easy at all!
Both of our grandsons finished the course with big smiles proud of what they’d achieved. There’s no way I could have done what they did.
Older kids, adults, and adrenalin junkies can complete the high-intensity Super Circuit. There’s also the Spring Circuit where the whole family can enjoy a colorful ball pit and giant balls.
A highlight of the park and possibly the most fun activity is the 525-metre-long Shockwave Zip Coaster.
While it’s high and long you don’t actually have to do anything except sit back and enjoy the view.
Live Wire Park is one of the more expensive family activities on the Great Ocean Road but if you’re budget can stretch that far your kids will love you forever!
8. Maits Rest
Located just outside of Apollo Bay, Maits Rest is the ideal place for children to experience the beauty of nature.
With a short distance of only 800 meters (about a 30-minute round trip) it’s accessible and enjoyable for both little ones and grown-ups alike.
The winding path is surrounded by ancient trees, giant ferns, and hollow logs. Kangaroos, swamp wallabies, and possums are often spotted here, but keep your eyes peeled for unusual insects and bugs. Kids are fascinated by them.
9. 12 Apostles
The awe-inspiring 12 Apostles, Victoria’s most famous landmark, sits alongside the Great Ocean Road in Port Campbell National Park.
These rugged limestone stacks rise majestically from the Southern Ocean, shaped by the relentless waves and winds.
While they may no longer number twelve (if they ever did) these magnificent pillars are an incredible spectacle, especially at sunrise and sunset, when their colors transform with the shifting light.
The whole family will love the tiny penguins that return after sunset to their burrows waddling ashore below the main lookout.
For a truly memorable experience, treat your family to a 15-minute helicopter flight that takes in the 12 Apostles and other famous spots along the coastline.
10. Loch Ard Gorge
Just a short distance from the 12 Apostles lies Loch Ard Gorge, home to one of the most famous shipwrecks in the area.
In 1878, the cargo ship Loch Ard was overcome by thick fog while sailing through the treacherous Bass Strait. Tragically, it crashed into the cliffs of Mutton Bird Island, leaving only two survivors who washed up on the beach now known as Loch Ard Gorge.
Today, there is no trace of the wreckage, but visitors can still enjoy the gorge with its stunning green capped cliffs aquamarine water, and golden sands.
Swimming isn’t recommended here due to the powerful seas, especially for children. But there are some easy walking trails nearby including Broken Head and the Loch Ard Shipwreck Walk.
11. The Grotto
There are 30 different limestone masses along this coastline including The Arch, Gibson Steps, The Bay of Islands and The Bay of Martyrs. All of them are worth visiting, but it can become a bit too much for kids.
However, I recommend making the 2 kilometer drive to reach The Grotto. For children this is the most mesmerizing of all the rock formations.
Part blowhole, part archway, part cave, The Grotto is essentially a sinkhole where the ocean tumbles and churns.
It’s accessible via a scenic series of wooden boardwalks and stairs, that allows you to see the Grotto cave formation from above before descending to the sinkhole area and rock pool.
12. Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum And Village
A great way to end your Great Ocean Road skip-generation vacation is at the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum in Warrnambool.
Here you can step back in time as you explore the recreated maritime village. There are 40 buildings filled with artifacts and live characters bringing the past to life.
It’s also home to the regions largest maritime and shipwreck collection including the beautiful Loch Ard Peacock, a relic from the famous shipwreck worth $4 million.
If the kids aren’t too tired the nightly Sound and Light Show is a treat. The show tells tales of the shipwreck coasts history with the help of a 9-meter-tall water wall. If you do attend the show, be sure to bring some warm layers.
Final Word on Things to Do on the Great Ocean Road with Grandparents and Grandkids
The Great Ocean Road is perfect for a skip-generation vacation. There are plenty of things to see and do to keep everyone entertained.
With enjoyable activities like hiking, wildlife spotting, climbing lighthouses, and exploring the stunning coastline – it’s easy to create memories that will last a lifetime.
Traveling the Great Ocean Road is an ideal way for different generations to come together and share in the fun.
So, why not take you family on an unforgettable journey along the Great Ocean Road? You won’t be disappointed!
About the author: Audrey is the principal blogger behind Victoria Uncovered. A site that helps people get the most out of their visit to Victoria Australia. Book Lover | Breakfast Nut | Aussie Gal | She’s usually craving coffee. All photos are attributed to Audry Chalmers or her husband with the exception of the Pinterest image and feature photo.